1st & 2nd Grade Books > Grandpa Sabih

Grandpa Sabih

Written by: Tami Shem-Tov / Illustrated by: Shimrit Elkanati / Publisher: Kinneret

Distribution: January 2018

Keren and Or are confused, is their grandfather named after a dish? They ask Grandfather, and his surprising answer teaches them about the immigration to Israel and the acclimatization of new immigrants in the early years of the state.

Family Activities

 Or, Keren, Sabich, Richelle – we each have a name, and each name has its own meaning.  


Classroom Activities

Dear Parents,

 Or, Keren, Sabich, Richelle – we each have a name, and each name has its own meaning.

Our name is an important factor in our identity as we and others' see it. When we meet new friends, the first detail we discover about them is their name; and when babies are born, people immediately ask what their parents named them.

The Midrash says a person receives several names:

"שְׁלשָׁה שֵׁמוֹת נִקְרְאוּ לוֹ לָאָדָם: אֶחָד מַה שֶּׁקּוֹרְאִים לוֹ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ, וְאֶחָד מַה שֶּׁקּוֹרְאִים לוֹ בְּנֵי אָדָם, וְאֶחָד מַה שֶּׁקּוֹנֶה הוּא לְעַצְמוֹ. טוֹב מִכֻּלָּם מַה שֶּׁקּוֹנֶה הוּא לְעַצְמוֹ" (תנחומא ויקהל א)

"There are three names by which a person is called: one which their father and mother call them, one which people call them, and one which they earn for themselves. The best one of all is the one they earn for themselves" (Midrash Tanhuma Vayakhel A)

On the path to discovering the meaning behind Grandpa Sabich's name, Keren and Or are told about Olim – new immigrants – and how they came to Israel and settled here in its early days.


Kibbutz Galuyot – The Gathering of Israel from Exile

The prayer and hope that G-d will gather all Jews from all corners of the Earth and bring them to Eretz Yisrael has its roots in biblical prophecies, and is the basis of the Zionist vision. Over the years many new immigrants have come to Israel from across the globe, and made it their home. With them they bring different customs, languages, and culture, as well as special dishes. Integrating into a new place changes people, and affects their new surroundings. What do we choose to hold onto? What should we leave behind? These questions have been a topic for keen discourse since the State of Israel was established, and the answers seem to change from one family and generation to the next.


Enjoy reading and discussing the book together!

פעילות בחיק המשפחה

  • Did you know where the name Sabich originated before reading this story? What do you know about your own family members' names? Are they biblical? Are any of you named after a relative? Perhaps, like Sabba Sabich, your name or your child's comes from a foreign language? You may want to discuss your names, their origin and meaning together, and tell your child what made you choose their name for them. Perhaps your child would enjoy making a decorated sign with their name on it, and hang it on their bedroom door.
  • Sabba Sabich came to Israel from Iraq. Where did your family come from? How long has your family been living in Israel? Which country did it come from? Perhaps you could make a world map, and draw arrows on it denoting the path travelled by your family until their arrival in Israel. You may wish to share your own immigration stories with your child, or those of their grandparents. What did you like about the country you came from? What do you like about Israel? What sort of hardships and successes did you experience? Has any member of your family changed their name upon arrival in Israel?
  • Sabba Sabich says each community brought with it "a language, songs, names, and traditions" You may want to teach your child a few words in the language spoken by their grandparents. Together you could recollect special customs and songs, which you could teach and sing with your child. They could also read this book with older members of the family, such as uncles, aunts, or grandparents. Perhaps by doing so they will be told more family stories they had not heard before.
  • Do you make Sabich for breakfast? Pizza, falafel, kreplach, Jahnun... Which dishes are typical of your community? You may enjoy preparing a special meal together consisting of dishes typical to your family's place of origin. You could teach your child how to make traditional food, and even create a family cookbook.
  • Join Keren and Or in making Sabich together!   Ingredients for home-made Sabich Hard-boiled eggs Sliced, fried eggplant Finely chopped salad Pitta bread Hot sauce (Schug), Amchur (Amba) (optional) Hummus Tahini Method: Peel the eggs (ask your child to look for the description in the book!), place one pitta bread on a plate and put hummus on it, with or without hot sauce (schug) or amchur (amba). Add the eggplant, sliced egg, and salad. Season with salt and pepper, and put a spoonful of tahini on top. Bon Appetit!

רעיונות לשילוב הספר בגן

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